The California Department of Water Resources has reduced outflow from the damaged Oroville spillway ahead of reconstruction.

At a press conference on Monday, March 27, DWR Director Bill Croyle said the first step was to reduce water flows from 40,000 cubic feet per second to 35,000.

Last week, an independent board of consultants declared Northern California will be at significant risk if reconstruction efforts are not finalized by the beginning of the next rainy season.

“We will, if I have anything to do about it, we’ll have a spillway to use by Nov. 1," Croyle said. "Whether that’s a permanent or temporary structure, that’s yet to be determined.”

With this year becoming, according to DWR, the second wettest year on record for Northern California, those efforts will likely need to pause.

“We fully anticipate to use the spillway again at least once and maybe two more times," Croyle said. "It comes back to the amount of snow that we still have, how much water we move through the spillway when we activate it again, how much water we want to store behind the reservoir before we activate the spillway.”

DWR said initial costs for the work hovered around $274 million, but the total cost has yet to be determined. Last week, an expert placed the cost around $500 million.